birth control cover

Teen Guide to Birth Control

Teen Guide to Birth Control
Nourse
1988

Another teen guide-to-life book. We have prolific health writer Alan Nourse again instructing the kids on various methods of birth control. For 1988, this isn’t a bad choice. His writing is pretty-plain spoken and doesn’t get bogged down in judgments, unlike a lot of publications, both older and newer. The info is mostly focused on the female perspective. It’s pretty clear that if a woman wants to avoid pregnancy, it is up to her. Boys seem incidental to the conversation.

get help cover

Get some help!

Get Help
Solving the Problems in Your Life
Gilbert
1989

This is essentially a directory of agencies and organizations aimed at young people with problems. In 1989, this would be a reasonable purchase for a teen nonfiction collection. However, in 2022 it is simply taking up shelf space. It would never occur to a teen to use a book to look up an organization. This book should have been tossed with all the telephone books and other directories when the Internet took over the job of being a giant directory.

menstruation

Your monthly “friend”

Menstruation
Just Plain Talk
Nourse
1980

All of the ladies probably remember that time in health class where the world of menstruation was explained. I remember that in 6th grade we had a boring film where girls in white pants told everyone how grown up they were. It was the white pants that made it realistic.

They always would play down symptoms such as debilitating cramps, bloating, mood swings, etc. and pass them off as “normal”. That’s just the life of a lady. Credit goes to this author who actually acknowledged that not everyone reacts the same way and that symptoms should be addressed by a doctor.

family grows

A new baby for the family

How a Family Grows
Shay
1968

This is a photo essay explaining reproduction to kids. This family is expecting a baby and there is a narrative of how this family explains the upcoming birth to the siblings. We featured another of Arthur Shay‘s books about nursing. That book also followed a similar format of following a particular bunch of students as they go through nursing school. They aren’t particularly bad, just outdated.

The first picture below almost had me do a double take. I thought this was some bizarre ice sculpture, and then read the caption about a field trip. I am assuming that the field trip was to a science museum and not some weird cocktail party.

coping with shyness cover

Don’t be Shy!

Coping With Shyness
Gelinas
1987

This title is bothersome. Shyness, according to the author, is a problem that needs treating. Throughout the book, there are discussions of paralyzing fear and how this is a severe “personality problem.” I think what the author is describing is severe anxiety. I am a little disturbed by the use of shyness as a catch-all term for descriptions of serious mental health issues.

Although this is a part of a series aimed at teens, the reading isn’t so teen friendly. I also think most teens would balk at this description. Lumping in more than several mental conditions into a term like shyness is a bad idea. I am not even sure it is a clinical term. I think most people define shyness as a reluctance to situations that involve a lot of new people or new situations.

paper office

Old School Office Management

The Paper Office
The Tools to Make Your Small Psychotherapy Practice Work
Zuckerman and Guyett
1991

This book is one of those oddly specific titles. It is basically a primer on the business side of setting up a psychotherapy office. They have sample intake forms, an outline of ethics/guidelines (most of it devoted to “don’t sleep with clients”), malpractice (again, this is usually because you shouldn’t sleep with clients), bill collecting (be sure to see the script for collecting unpaid fees), patient files, etc.

Meeting the challenge cover

Children with Diabetes

Meeting the Challenge: Children Living with Diabetes
Bergman
1992

Submitter: This book’s purpose is to show a normal kid living a normal life while managing diabetes, which is great, but managing diabetes looks a little different now than it did 30 years ago. This kid is still peeing on ketone strips to measure his blood sugar, which is pretty irrelevant in today’s world of nearly ubiquitous CGM (continual glucose monitoring—a sensor is attached to the body and provides real-time blood sugar readings via an app). Most kids today would also be using a pump rather than syringes, which are the only insulin delivery tool in the book, with the exception of one insulin pen.

The other odd thing about this book is the extended section devoted to a summer camp for kids with diabetes that the protagonist attends. The point is likely to show the kids doing all the kinds of things their friends can do, but it feels a little random and oddly specific to this one kid. Especially the counselor in face paint for some kind of activity, included in the pictures.

Holly: When a kid receives a diagnosis like diabetes and is learning to live with it, both they and their parents need current and helpful information. This offers neither of those things. Nice idea; past its prime.